Florence, 8 October 2021 – After the maxi contract on local public transport, the Florence prosecutor’s office also puts the tramway management of the Tuscan capital. There is an investigation for embezzlement, which yesterday morning stopped smoldering when the financial police came to the headquarters of Scandicci di Gest, the spa owned by the French of Ratp that has been managing the tramway lines for over 10 years, now three with the new connections to the airport and Careggi, and in the future even more. Ratp, with Autolinee Toscane, is also the manager of local public transport for the next eleven years.
There is also an open investigation on this contract. And it is very likely that there are links between the two investigative strands. The last, in chronological order, of the disputes, assumes that Gest has masked its revenues in order not to return the money collected in surplus compared to what was budgeted in the economic and financial plan. Thus, according to the accusations of the prosecutor, Gest would have kept the earnings of a “significant profitability” for itself, without restoring the grantor of the service, that is the Municipality of Florence, as foreseen instead by the agreement which also contemplates the reverse situation: namely that Palazzo Vecchio compensates for any income lower than the stipulated economic and financial plan from its own pocket. The embezzlement, to the detriment of the Municipality of Florence, contested against the ‘French’ (persons in charge of public service) would have resulted in withholding, after having concealed them, substantial amounts which, according to the agreements, should have returned to the public body by way of reimbursement. .
The financiers showed up with a search decree signed by the deputy prosecutor Luca Turco, simultaneously notifying two notices of guarantee: one for the managing director of Gest, Jean Luc Laugaa, the other for Francois Mazza, president of Ratp Dev Italia, which holds 51% of the share capital of Gest . At the same time, men of the yellow flames also acquired documents from Tram di Firenze, spa with registered office in Borgo Albizi, concessionaire of the transport service.
«We have provided everything requested – comments the CEO Laugaa – we are serene and sure of the absolute correctness in the management. Gest is completely unrelated to the facts under investigation “.
Regarding the alleged allegations, Laugaa adds: “Gest, as the tramway management company, does not sell tickets and does not collect their revenues directly. The only source of income, as defined by the service contract with Tram spa, is a reimbursement commensurate only and exclusively to the number of kilometers produced and has no relation with the sale of tickets or with the number of passengers transported “.
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